John Cleese reveals plot details for Fawlty Towers reboot - killing off major character

The Monty Python star said the new series will open with the death of Basil Fawlty's wife Sybil.

John Cleese during a book signing at Waterstones Piccadilly to promote his book
John Cleese has revealed plot details of the new Fawlty Towers. (Getty Images)

John Cleese has revealed the plot details for his Fawlty Towers reboot - which will open with the death of Sybil Fawlty.

The Monty Python star announced in February that he will be reviving his hotel manager character Basil Fawlty in a new series of the hit 70s comedy with When Harry Met Sally director Rob Reiner at the helm and set in the Caribbean.

Cleese has now told The Sun: "The new one starts with Sybil’s death and Basil’s daughter getting a text message from her father saying, ‘Sybil did’.

Read more: John Cleese hits back at critics of Fawlty Towers reboot plans

“She texts back, ‘Sybil did what?’. Basil is about to deliver the eulogy and says what an absolutely wonderful woman Sybil was.

John Cleese, Prunella Scales, Connie Booth and Andrew Sachs in Fawlty Towers. (BBC)
John Cleese, Prunella Scales, Connie Booth and Andrew Sachs in Fawlty Towers. (BBC)

“And then the camera pans around and you see that behind his back he has his fingers crossed.”

The actor and writer has revealed he is writing the reboot with his 38-year-old Camilla Cleese, his child with second wife Barbara Trentham. She will also star in the show.

He added: "Sybil dies and Basil goes to see his daughter because it was all part of a naughty affair that he once had with a guest at the hotel.

“My daughter will probably be a hotelier who’s running this small hotel.

Prunella Scales, John Cleese, Connie Booth and Andrew Sachs are seen promoting two Fawlty Towers specials created to commemorate the 30 years Fawlty Towers Anniversary.   (Photo by Ian West - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Prunella Scales, John Cleese, Connie Booth and Andrew Sachs at a Fawlty Towers reunion in 2009. (Getty Images)

“It’s going to be a sort of slightly posh boutique hotel in the Caribbean with a multicultural staff because that’s the world of hotels.

“And there’ll be no one in except Basil.”

Prunella Scales starred in the BBC sitcom - which ran for just 12 episodes in the 1970s - as Basil's wife Sybil.

Scales, 90, announced her retirement from acting in 2020 having been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

Cleese co-wrote Fawlty Towers with ex-wife Connie Booth, who starred alongside him as waitress Polly.

The 82-year-old psychotherapist divorced Cleese in 1978, in the midst of making the hit sitcom.

Camilla Cleese and John Cleese speak onstage at 'Comedy with the Cleeses' during the 2022 SXSW Conference and Festivals at Creek and the Cave on March 12, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Amanda Stronza/Getty Images for SXSW)
Father and daughter team Camilla and John Cleese will write and star in the Fawlty Towers reboot set in the Caribbean. (Getty Images for SXSW)

She revealed that Cleese had not informer her of his plans to reboot the show.

The original series also starred the late Andrew Sachs as Spanish waiter Manuel. Sachs died in 2016 at the age of 86.

Read more: John Cleese's daughter says they're not 'out to get anyone' with Fawlty Towers reboot

Fawlty Towers originally aired for two six-episode seasons in 1975 and 1979.

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